Dreaming of a good night’s sleep?
Friday 06 February 2009
Did you know that more than a third of Brits have trouble sleeping, and one in 10 suffer from chronic insomnia?
Nope, neither did we and it’s a shocking statistic.
And according to new research, a massive 97 per cent of British professionals are missing out on their recommended eight hours of sleep a night. Crikey.
As we all know, sleep is vital for healthy functioning and for your brain’s logic and decision-making abilities.
But did you realise that not getting enough zeds is also known to increase your risk of being overweight and developing high blood pressure, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
So, what’s the solution? Well, hypnotist Paul McKenna reckons he’s might just have the answer.
His new book I Can Make You Sleep sets out to … erm, help you sleep. But how much can a book help? We asked writer, and troubled sleeper, Jordan Paramor to find out. Here's what she thought:
"It’s safe to say that I’ve never been a great sleeper. I can lie awake for hours thinking about everything from whether I should take back the new heels I can’t walk in to if I’ll be able to meet all my work deadlines.
It doesn’t help that my boyfriend falls asleep the second his head hits the pillow and could blissfully snore his way through an earthquake, and I often feel like getting up and running around my house until I literally collapse from exhaustion/boredom/both.
I do that awful thing of counting down the hours on my alarm clock until I have to get up whilst telling myself how terrible I’m going to feel in the morning.
And I’m not alone. It’s estimated that one in three people in the UK have suffered from insomnia over the past year alone, while celebrities like Brad Pitt and Renee Zelleweger have also admitted to having sleep issues.
According to Paul McKenna, top hypnotist and author of new book I Can Make You Sleep, insomnia can be caused by everything from depression to poor diet.
As he told Closer, “A lot of people have the same problems because they all make common mistakes, such as drinking caffeine too late, drinking alcohol hoping to put themselves to sleep but waking up in the middle of the night and even watching action movies before they go to bed.
"People also worry that they won’t be able to sleep and they wind themselves up so they’re in such a state of adrenalin that of course they can’t get to sleep.”
And a good nights sleep isn’t just about getting off to sleep. According to Paul, it’s also very important to have unbroken sleep. “I’ve noticed that a lot of people are obsessed with getting eight hours sleep a night, but I would rather have five hours of good quality sleep than eight hours of interrupted sleep.”
That’s all good and well, but what are we supposed to do when we can’t even manage a couple of hours without waking up in a cold sweat?
For a seasoned non-sleeper, I will admit I was sceptical when I first heard about Paul’s new book and hypnosis CD. Could it really be that easy to get a good night’s kip?
After several nights with an average of around four hours sleep, I was willing to try anything.
“A millionaire can buy the best bed in the world, but they can’t buy a good night’s sleep,” Paul pointed out. “The book and CD will show you how to reprogamme your brain and sleep again.”
After reading the book, which boasts loads of sound advice about the best foods to eat and ways to calm your mind, I decided to give the CD a whirl.
At the beginning of the CD Paul explains the process he’s about to take you through before he starts counting you down into a relaxed state.
As much as I’d love to tell you what the rest of the CD is about, I honestly don’t have a clue. I would estimate that I was asleep within about ten minutes of turning my iPod on, and I awoke around seven hours later wanting to literally leap out of bed with joy because I had managed a full night’s sleep.
I’ve been listening to the CD every night since and I feel better than I have done in ages. Now, I’m not saying that Paul’s techniques will work for everyone, but if your sleep problems are ruling your life, this book could be the best £10.99 you’ve ever spent.
As Paul himself says, “. I’ve been working with people with sleep problems for around 20 years, and from my years of research I’ve worked out how the solutions. I always say that I’m not selling books, I’m selling solutions, and my ultimate aim is to reduce the amount to sleeping tablets prescribed around the world.”
And do you know what? He might just do it."
Here are Paul’s top tips for a good night’s sleep:
Don’t watch action movies or read exciting novels before sleep. Only sleep or make love in bed.
Don’t have caffeine or eat too late
Only sleep when you’re truly tired. Don’t try and force yourself to sleep.
If your sleep is being disrupted, get up half an hour earlier than usual as that, amazingly, reboots your system
If you wake up in the middle of the night, get up and do something boring. Do not reward your mind with something exciting otherwise it will get used to waking you up.
By Jordan Paramor
I Can Make You Sleep by Paul McKenna is out now, priced £10.99